- The City of Henderson was founded in 1852 by famous pioneer Joseph Renshaw Brown.
- Henderson is located in Sibley County on Highways 19 and 93. The town is right on the banks of the Minnesota River, and is near Bucks Lake.
- Along with founding the City of Henderson, Joseph Brown was also active in many other projects that helped settle the area. In 1852, Brown proposed the new County of Sibley and established the City of Henderson, which was the county seat for 37 years before being moved to Gaylord. Brown moved his family to Henderson in 1854 and was elected Sibley County Recorder. He passed away in 1870 and was buried in Henderson, where a monument to him was dedicated in Brown Cemetery in 1910.
- Henderson was a major transportation hub in the mid-1800′s due to its proximity to the Minnesota River. In 1855 the Territorial Legislature authorized the survey of 9 roads, all emanating from Henderson. This prompted Legislator Martin McLeod to quip: “If Paris is France, Henderson will soon be Minnesota.”
- Joseph Brown had a fascination with methods of overland travel. This led him to experiment with “steam wagons,” the 1stof which was demonstrated in Henderson in 1860. It traveled for 28 days from Henderson to a location 4 miles from Fort Ridgely, where it stuck in a bog and stayed there. The dream of using steam wagons died with Brown in 1870.
- Henderson was a Wagon Town for many years, beginning in the 1850′s. Wagons of all shapes, sizes, and colors were built and retrofitted in Henderson for the use of the steady stream of pioneers heading west. Joseph Brown and his partner, Henry Poehler, were prominent in this business for many years.
- More information about Joseph Brown and the early days of the City of Henderson and the surrounding area is available at the Joseph R. Brown Minnesota River Center. The interpretive museum is located in the historic 1879 Sibley County Courthouse in Henderson.
- Henderson shares a school district with Le Sueur to form the Le Sueur Henderson Giants. There is also a 120-student charter school called the Minnesota New Country Charter School.
- Some of the businesses in Henderson include: Healthcare Documentation and Development, which provides online health care educations; Ed Visions Co-Op, which develops charter schools across the state; and the Sibley Medical Center clinic.
- The clinic in Henderson operated by the Sibley Medical Center opened in September 2005. The clinic mainly does lab and blood work. It is certified to serve Medicare and Medicaid patients as well.
- A new art and technology wing was completed at the Minnesota New Country Charter School in Henderson in recent years. The wing allows the faculty to provide additional hands-on curriculum for the students.
Festivals & Events
- Henderson’s big summer festival is “Sauerkraut Days.” The annual celebration of the town’s German heritage and love of cabbage-based foods is held the last weekend in June. Sauerkraut Days features a parade, food, music, and the crowning of Miss Henderson.
- The annual Henderson Heritage Day is held in September. The relatively new festival is another way for the residents of Henderson to party while celebrating their history.
- The annual Eskimo Days celebration in Henderson is a celebration of winter activities presented by the Henderson Fire Department, with all proceeds used to purchase new firefighting equipment. Eskimo Days features free winter recreational activities such as snowmobiling, sledding, and skating. There’s also food and beverages served, and old-time music during the day at the Fire Hall, with a dance and raffle during the evening at the Brass Top Hall.
- The various churches in Henderson hold different events throughout the year. Centennial Lutheran has been having an annual Fish Fry for over 35 years now, St. Paul’s UCC has a brunch banquet, and St. Joseph’s has a Fall Festival every autumn.
- The City of Henderson has a population of approximately 1,000 people. The Mayor is Paul Menne.
- The Minnesota Valley Mini-Birding Science Museum celebrated it’ grand-opening in 2010. The museum features birding exhibits on species from the Minnesota River Valley as well as local maps on known nesting locations and other resource materials. It is operated by Henderson Feathers.
- In 2010 Milton Meierbachtol of Henderson won $25,000 playing the Minnesota State Lottery’s Bucks and Ducks scratch game. He purchased the winning ticket at Radermacher’s in Le Sueur.
- New Henderson Royalty was crowned in June of 2012 as part of the Sauerkraut Days festivities. Miss Henderson 2012 is Savannah Zippel, the daughter of Greg and Deb Zippel. Crowned Henderson 1st Princess was Briana Williams, the daughter of Brian and Ramona Williams, and named 2nd Princess and Miss Congeniality was Samantha Alander, the daughter of Bob and Barb Alander.
- Le Sueur-Henderson High School crowned new Homecoming Royalty in September of 2012. Named Homecoming King was Chris Pfarr, and crowned Homecoming Queen was Ali O’Brien.
- The City of Henderson got a new chief of police at the end of October of 2012. Former Henderson Police Officer Randy Haken is a Slayton native who also served on the Cleveland Police Department.
- KNUJ’s Hometown Hero for November 2012 was Doris Brandt Wigand of Henderson. Doris is actively involved in numerous organizations in her community, volunteering with the local hospital, as well as Hospice, blood drives, the food shelf, the historical society and the Friends of the Library. The 86-year-old is also very active with her church, and regularly visits nursing homes and shut-ins.
- The City of Henderson’s former Sauerkraut Queens were selected to appear on labels of Frank’s Sauerkraut in 2012 as part of the company’s national “Search For Sweetness” campaign. Miss Henderson Taylor Sellnow, along with 1st Princess Shannon Meyer and 2nd Princess Brandi Winsor submitted a photo of themselves eating kraut in their royal garb to Frank’s, and the labels were to be distributed to local stores. The winning picture of the Henderson trio has also been made into the “Cover Photo” of the Frank’s Kraut Facebook page, and can also be found on the website www.myfrankskraut.com.
Click on the title below to listen to the Town Days Podcasts
02 Jan 17